A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prom King and Prom Queen Syndrome

We live in a status-obsessed society, especially here in America. The infamous question that gets asked all the time is, "So what do you do?" I wonder if some people actually believe questions like this have been asked since the dawn of time. As it is, the dynamics between men and women today is often not so much about love as it is about status--who wants it and who confers it. The obsession with status figures largely in what I call Prom Queen Syndrome and Prom King Syndrome. Remember when everyone wanted to be the king or queen at the high school prom? What did such status confer? Simple ...

  1. You were paired off with the most desirable member of the opposite sex.
  2. Other members of the opposite sex regarded you as the most desirable person of your sex.
  3. You were the envy of those of your own sex--your competition.
The coronation, of course, requires an audience--the chaperoning adults, the kids who didn't make the cut, etc. Not only do the others need to be deprived of status, they need to desire what they don't have. They need to play the part of the Envious Onlookers. If enough people didn't care to go to the prom, or it was sparsely attended, the coronation would be a bit anticlimactic, wouldn't it? It's all a massive ego boost wrapped up in adolescent hormones and sexuality, if you ask me. Quite intoxicating if you think about it.

We have left high school behind, haven't we? Well, not really. I think for older adults, the yearning or desire typified by the antics of high school only gets subdued to a degree. Hence, we have the pandemic of Prom Queen Syndrome and Prom King Syndrome in our society.

How does Prom Queen Syndrome play out? Women only look at men who have status in the eyes of other women. It also explains why women get upset if an undesirable man finds a desirable woman elsewhere. You think it would be logical that if a woman is not attracted to a certain man, she would not viciously attack him when he is successful in another venue. But it happens nonetheless. Just witness the vitriol launched against men with foreign wives or girlfriends. Why does this happen even though a given woman doesn't want a man in such a circumstance? Simple, the man is undermining her status as an attractive woman.

A woman wants attention from men even though she will never reward them. That's how she amps her up "game." You undermine the "game" when you find a woman of comparable social status who makes less demands, or when you don't bother with the dating scene or whatever. This is why I think men who stay home on weekends to play video games are viewed in the same light as men who take candy from toddlers or kick puppies.

Then there's the Prom King Syndrome. If you opt out of the game or find a woman abroad, you can tick off some other men, as well. Men may thrive on your envy of their situation. That's why they say, "Living well is the best revenge." Men can't have that revenge if you are not really intimidated by their success. A lot of men want you to notice how important they are, where they live, what woman is beside them. They want you to notice them when they walk into the room. If you are indifferent to their self-importance, then you become a threat to them.

I think that explains why some guys get so vicious and hot-headed about MGTOWers and MRAs. "You guys are losers! There's something wrong with you! You're cowards and you need to face up to your faults! You need to fix what's wrong with you. You need to be a man and risk rejection!" Why do the MRAs and MGTOWers need to do this? Because it validates what other men are doing?

A lot of men were the ones who lost out in high school. They didn't get picked. Some of them are probably licking their wounds about that and trying to drop their emotional baggage on you and me. While society goes down the toilet and treats men like feces, these guys are still worried about trying to be the Prom King with the Anglosphere girl of their dreams. If you are a man, would your ego be a little stung if not too many other men found your wife or girlfriend attractive? You wouldn't be sitting next to the Prom Queen, then, would you? If my words are hitting you right now, then you are probably suffering from Prom King Syndrome.

I thinks this may partially explain why religious leaders and Christian women are ticked off at bachelors. They want to come up with all sorts of religious psychobable and accuse single men of being selfish and unspiritual. I don't think it has to do with finding good women for these men as much as it has to do with validation of the status quo. If anything, a man needs to try to find a wife, fail, and be miserable so he can play the part of the Envious Onlooker for the Church Mafia. Even though he may not have any of the qualities that confer status and which others value, he can't be the Envious Onlooker if he doesn't really care about said qualities, can't he?

You can accuse men of having psychological defenses for loserdom, but your harping on it may betray a little of your own insecurity. If a group of men are so weak, pathetic, and unenviable in your eyes, why does it concern you so much that they've latched on to a narrative that makes them feel better about themselves? The question needs to be answered. Why do they need to change themselves to be what you want them to be? Are they involved in something immoral? No? Are they unhappy? No? Then what on earth is your problem? Why are you personally threatened by their choices? Why have you suddenly decided to become an informant for the Bureau of Fashion, Taste, and Social Custom (BFTSC)? I'll tell you why. Your brain is still in high school and you're just a tool for peer pressure. You're like the twelve-year-old girl that liked a boy until her friends told her she "deserved better" and that being seen with "that wierdo" wouldn't look too good. You get initiated into the gang when you knock off some innocent soul.

Here's a revelation: Unless you have some control over my physical welfare, I don't need you to like or respect me (Galatians 1:10). Usually, exercising this independence of social approval is the prerogative of people with status. However, when someone with no status exercises this power, people get upset. The apple cart is turned over. "How dare you go your own way! You selfish, immature, creepy bastard!" I ask, "Why?"

Why should I care what anyone thinks about my romantic potential if they are not genuinely concerned about me as a person? Can you tell me that? Oh, I know. So I can be the water boy at the prom and serve you cake and punch while you chat up with the cheerleaders. Or if you are the cheerleader, maybe you want me to hand you some punch and notice the curves of your body in your sequined halter gown. "Look, but don't touch, dweeb." It all would be rather amusing if it weren't so sad and didn't have serious spiritual repercussions (1 John 2:15-17).

If nothing I said has penetrated your thick skull then I want you to riddle me this: What is it going to matter to you when they pull the feeding tubs from your shriveled body and you go to meet your Maker? Hmm? Your promming me doesn't work anymore. Life is too short for me to be the Envious Onlooker or even to stay home and be miserable about not going to the Prom. If you are blessed with the good things of this life, be humbled that you have been favored by God who gives to both the "just" and the "unjust" (Matthew 5:45). But don't expect me to grovel. Have fun at the dance.

22 comments:

wombatty said...

Good post, Anakin. Back in the early days of Maken’s now-defunct blog, similar thoughts occurred to me. I noticed that of the men on Maken’s side of the fence, the married ones were the most strident on the issue and virulently intolerant of those who would disagree with them. I eventually concluded that these men were simply seeking ‘safety in numbers’; they were, unhappy, miserable or otherwise dissatisfied with their own decision to marry and were seeking to drag others into their pit of despair. You know, misery loves company and all of that. Of course, this is all speculation, but it’s the best guess I could come up with.

It doesn’t bother me in the least that other men pursue marriage and make it an important, even central, goal of their lives; more power – and all of the good luck in the world – to them. I feel no need to imagine scurrilous motivations (e.g. feelings of inadequacy, mommy-complexes, etc.) to explain their desire to marry so it doesn’t make sense to me why the other side apparently feels compelled to do so. Hence my speculation – misery loves company.

Your idea that these people are angry at being deprived of an 'envious audience' is one I hadn't thought of...

KnightWatch said...

Cool post, Anakin!

Where is an Alpha without beta worship?

Amir Larijani said...

It does not make good sense for married folks to expect an "envious audience". Especially given that the divorce rate is nothing at which to sneeze. That would only serve to make the pressures more than they already are.

I'm enjoying married life (so far, so good...just like the paratrooper said...), but I also enjoyed many advantages of the single life. It's a set of tradeoffs.

I'm wondering if the married folks--at least many of them--are just envious of the singles...

You Stiff Necked People said...

Man I can relate to this. Why can't they just leave you alone. So what if I want to spend all my free time away from it all instead of chasing tail or going to their boring Christmas parties. What's it to them? You would think they would be better off without me around since I'm so unworthy.

Worldiness is what it is and they can't stand your indefference to it. The only thing MGTOW have done is rediscovered an old principle of living as far removed from the world as possible. It works just as good now as it did back in the day.

wombatty said...

Why can't they just leave you alone.

Perhaps they are just looking for assurance that they made the right descision (to marry). Dutifully playing the part of an envious audience or joining them in their decision to marry would provide that reassurance. Indifference deprives them of it. It's almost as if they believe they are entitled to either our envy or our company and compatriotism in marriage. An entitlement mentality is unbecoming wherever it is found...

vysota said...

Speaking of cries for help...

Anonymous said...

Evolutionary psychology explains all these dynamics...

Anonymous said...

Vysota is exactly this type.

Clearly, "he" (a she, really - wink), has experienced a lot of rejection.

"His" writing style is also highly emotional, and lacking purpose. It is typically only women that seek to throw these kind of emotional hand grenades into a discussion.

The only alternative is that we are discussing a very low alpha who fears he is a low beta, since he clumsily loses out to higher alphas.

Regardless of gender(I'm still convinced you're a gal), what is clear is that inside their beats an incredibly bitter heart that has experienced many real hurts, and many imagined slights as well.

If it is a guy, I wonder if excessively partaking of the fruit of the tree of Womanly Hysterics has begun to cause a permanent effect, basically a form of self-induced hormonal sex change procedure.


Hopefully the friends of this poor soul will effect an intervention before the damage is permanent.

LadyElaine said...

wow....

Anakin,

I definitely get this. I've very much felt that the social dynamics of churches is very much like high school, where singles are easily placed in "reject" status, simply because you didn't fit in whatever neat category you wanted them to(in this case, marriage is the dividing line).

Women get this too. If we don't cave to the pressure from our parents, grandparents, and fellow meddling "church mothers", then somehow, there's something wrong with us. We're either viewed as bitter harpies, undercover lesbian feminists, or a combination of the
two.

It sucks that men(and women) get this kind of pressure.

vysota said...

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Anonymous said...

The chick admits.

Niko said...

Reminded me of this.

The response of Arsenius to a wealthy female pilgrim who traveled from Rome to the Alexandrian plains.

Arsenius refused to see her but she barged into his sanctuary.

"Why have you bothered to cross such a great ocean? Don't you realize that you are a woman, with whom it is not lawful for any of us to have any dealings? You have probably only come here so that you could go back to Rome and boast to all your women friends that you have seen Arsenius, and thus encourage a whole flock of women across the sea to visit me"

She replied. "But pray for me, I beg you, keep me in mind."

He replied, "I pray to God that he will wipe out the memory of you from my heart."

vysota said...

You're right, Niko. If you happen to be wealthy AND female you don't deserve god's favor or grace.

Novaseeker said...

Way to miss the point, vysota. Then again, that's pretty much what you do around here anyway.

vysota said...

You're right, Nova. I did miss the point. So... what was the point? I'm genuinely curious.

Anonymous said...

Great points, Anakin, although I don't think your Prom Queen/Prom King terminology is as relevant in these modern times as you might think. These days people will vote for "sympathy plays", "charity cases", and "mascots" as opposed to the traditional "elitist".

Google up "prom queen king Down syndrome", for instance.

Anonymous said...

Fucking sweet Anakin. This is like the most amazing post I have read. Its like a revolutionary manifesto.

Anonymous said...

"promming me"??

Hmmm. Sounds like someone's still not over not being popular in high school.

yeah, yeah, code purple. whatever.

Anonymous said...

I think this explains the end of "500 Days of Summer".

I mean WHY would his ex-girlfriend REALLY invite the guy to her wedding?

Really? She didn't know it was mean?

She needs her ENVIOUS AUDIENCE.

tannen said...

Thought provoking, but I can't say that I've heard this undertone in any preaching in the last 10 years or so. Maybe it's found in the larger mega and gigachurches which I haven't attended.

I'm good friends with several christian married couples and I can't recall any snide remarks or veiled contempt for me as part of the envious audience, nor have I sensed that from any pastors I've spoken to.

I did notice it in some 'self help how to be a better christian single etc.' books. Their tone was irritating, removed from real life, subltly condemning to the point of heresy, so I just wrote them off as more of the same evangelica americana that has strayed from preaching the gospel to sinners and loving them as fellow sinners. It seems to be more loudly proclaimed in larger and worldlier low church protestant groupings.

At the risk of asking a dumb question, could you point me to some specific examples of this teaching other than Maken. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Whoever you are, that was awesome! Not that you need approve but dude or dudette....and the truth shall set thee free

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